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DARQ - PRESS KIT

"A unique psychological horror game set in a zero-gravity lucid dream."

DESCRIPTION

Genre: Psychological Horror
Platforms: PC, MAC, Linux
Release Date: Later in 2017, TBA Developer: Unfold Games

DARQ tells the story of Lloyd, a boy who becomes aware of the fact that he is dreaming. To Lloyd's misfortune, the dream quickly turns into a nightmare and all attempts to wake up end in failure. While exploring the darkest corners of his subconscious, Lloyd learns how to survive the nightmare by bending the laws of physics and manipulating the fluid fabric of the dream world

In DARQ, sound plays a very important role. There are sections of the game that take place in absolute darkness and in order to navigate the environment, Lloyd has to rely on the location of sounds.

The game is designed to be a moving artistic experience. The art style of DARQ is a juxtaposition of opposites: it combines 3d locations with 2d hand-drawn characters, beauty with horror, elegance with roughness...The beauty element becomes the means of seduction, inviting the player to enter the world of Lloyd's nightmare.

Developers of DARQ are very particular about the use of light in the game - both as a part of the overall aesthetics, as well as the main component of the gameplay. Light and shadow are almost the main character in DARQ. The game builds tension based on the uncertainty of not knowing what to expect when switching the flashlight on and off. 

Lloyd is up against much stronger enemies; he has no chance of winning in an open confrontation. Instead, he has to rely on stealth and careful planning to avoid getting detected

In addition to hearing, most enemies posses good sight. That's why sneaking by would often require switching the flashlight off. When the light is off, it becomes crucial to listen closely to the sounds made by enemies. Faster and more irregular breathing indicates higher level of alertness, and therefore higher possibility of being detected

In DARQ, there will be numerous jump scares, however the developers of DARQ are working hard to avoid making them cheesy or conventional. A jump scare will never occur for the sake of an easy scare. It will always result from the story. 

FEATURES

  • Psychological horror game about lucid dreaming.
  • Unique artstyle combining 2d and 3d graphics.
  • Shining-like pacing, relying on a slow build and creepy atmosphere rather than gore and violence. 
  • Music written by Hollywood film composer Wlad Marhulets.
  • Puzzles that involve bending the laws of physics (walking on walls and ceilings, levitating), manipulating the dream world (creating items, spawning doors and entire locations), collecting and using found objects, and avoiding enemies
  • Emphasis on sound - some parts of the game involve navigating the environment in complete darkness, which makes the player rely heavily on the location of sounds.
  • Randomly generated elements of the gameplay (enemy spawn locations, objects, some locations). No walkthrough is the same. 
  • Lots of interactive objects and characters that will unfold the story and help Lloyd find answers about the meaning of his journey.
  • Dynamic dream world - in DARQ, visiting a room for the second time might yield a surprising result. You might find that some details have changed, or maybe even the entire room got replaced with a new one.
  • Multiple endings, depending on the choices you make throughout your journey.

RECEPTION & PRESS

In December 2015, DARQ got greenlit on Steam as one of the 10 most up-voted games. It was featured on hundreds of gaming websites & blogs, including IGN, Rock Paper Shotgun, Gamastura, Cliquist. Since its success on Steam Greenlight, DARQ attracted cult-like following of thousands of players.
Good audio can make all the difference in a horror game. (...) It looks lovely, in a horrid sort of way, and it’ll be out next year. Rock Paper Shotgun
The game is showing promise of becoming a potential breakout indie horror title, so our eyes will be watching this one for sure. Game Watcher
The new trailer is perhaps one of the most dismaying trailers I’ve seen all year, featuring some very unsettling music and visuals. Dual Shockers
NEW TEASER FOR ‘DARQ’ MIGHT BE THE SCARIEST GAMING FOOTAGE YET. Ditching the generic first-person style, DRAQ already looks to be veering left while all other are sitting comfortably in traffic. GamBIT Mag
DARQ shows nothing but promise and has all the inner workings of an amazing indie horror game. When your mind is your enemy, there is truly no idea that cannot become a reality and or an enemy. DARQ creates such an authentic reality, that the lines are blurred between horror and survival making fear your true enemy. From every image we have seen and the trailer, we can tell that this will be a very unique must play indie title in 2016.TheGoldenCartridge.com
It sounds great, offering a unique twist on the survival horror formula with it’s physics bending gameplay. I love the visual style and eerie vibes the game gives off – you can see that it’s going to rely on freaking the gamer out with genuine frightening moments as opposed to blood and guts.Useapotion.com
There have been a few other horror games using the side-scrolling method that are quite interesting but none look quite like DARQ. [...] The game is a creepy looking, artistically inspired fright-fest. The teaser trailer for the game is really quite something. You can check it out below and see how captivating the whole thing is.BlogJob.com

CREDITS

WLAD MARHULETS - Game Director / Music Composer / Programmer

The founder of Unfold Games and the director of DARQ. Wlad is also a five time ASCAP Award winning film composer. He's just finished scoring a feature thriller film Ambition produced by Bob Shaye (Lord of the Rings). Wlad has also worked with Marco Beltrami on such films as Hitman: Agent 47starring Rupert Friend and Zachary QuintoThe Giver, starring Meryl StreepNovember Manstarring Pierce Brosnan, and others.

DAMIAN MARHULETS - Co-Producer / Sound Designer / 3d Artist

Co-producer of DARQ and a programmer, also the founder of Marhulets Agency. He represents innovative multimedia projects, such as DARQ. His activities encompass direction and production of pioneering video games, animation and artistic interactive audiovisual projects.

CHRIS VICK - Co-Producer / Artist

Foremost an engineer and an artist; He has recently worked as Systems Engineer in the aerospace industry -- desigining algorithms, performing software development and testing. To satiate his creative inclinations, Chris fabricates his own cosplay costumes, and does digital & practical special effects work. He is also known as co-producer on several horror & sci-fi films. As an avid gamer himself, he is very enthusiastic about helping to bring "Darq" to life.

ADAM SCHMIDT - Sound Mixer / Recording Engineer

Known for his work on The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, Angels and Demons, Sherlock Holmes, Inception, and Savages. Adam has mixed and recorded projects such as Ratchet and Clank, Alone, Sugar Mountain, Blinder, A Path Appears, Crooked Arrows, and I am a Hero. He worked at Remote Control Productions for Hans Zimmer for over five years. Currently he has a full 5.1 surround mixing studio at Zoo Creatives in Marina Del Rey where he does large scale mixing and recording for film music.

ALEXIS ECHEMENDIA GONZALEZ - Animator

A graduate of Universidad de las Ciencias Informáticas, Alexis is passionate about both animation and 3d modeling. Before joining DARQ team, Alexis had worked in ACAIC Animation Studio in Cuba and contributed to a number of animated series, such as TUTU, Aventuras del Reino de la Ortografía, Close and video games.

JAREN MACHADO - Voiceover Actor (lead)

An eighth-grade student from northern California, has been voice acting since the age of ten. He also enjoys stage acting, and has appeared in several of his school’s musical productions. In his spare time, he enjoys collecting antique electronics and binge-watching episodes of The Simpsons.